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Progress and promise for strengthening child care data capacity

This resource discusses Wisconsin's efforts to build on its child care data system by first outlining the history (1996-2004) of developing its automated child care subsidy payment system. Wisconsin's Data Capacity agenda included creating an integrated statewide child care provider profile and launching an early care and education web mapping project, in addition to building partnerships with other data groups and agencies. A brief synopsis of lessons learned from five other states' Data Capacity projects is presented. It compares government structures for delivering regulation, subsidy, and quality services as well as mechanisms for sharing data across agencies. The vision for an integrated early care and education data system includes the reasoning that the system would need to include key information about the full range of programs serving young children such as Four-year old Kindergarten, Head Start, Birth to Three Intervention Program, and Special Education for 3- to 5-year-olds. In conclusion, the authors offer seven conceptual policy options which build on the strong child care information systems already in place. These options range from no change to a future vision of an interagency early care and education research and policy coordination unit.
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